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Preparing for low carb Bootcamp - starts on Monday 6 Feb

(30 Posts)
BIWI Tue 31-Jan-17 18:45:36

Sign up thread is here

So here are some things to think about.

First, the rules. There are only ten rules. Bootcamp is designed to be easy to follow. Just follow the rules and you'll be fine. There's no need to weigh or count anything!

It isn't necessarily easy to do though - the clue is in the name wink - but if you follow it properly, you'll find that you lose weight effortlessly without feeling deprived or hungry. Honestly smile

For the ten weeks of Bootcamp, we don't eat any of:

biscuits (sweet or savoury)

In addition, for the first two weeks - which are the strictest - you don't drink alcohol or eat any fruit, nuts or seeds. After the first two weeks you can re-introduce these albeit in moderation.

BIWI Tue 31-Jan-17 18:50:43

And here are the ten rules:

1. Eat three proper meals a day.

"You must eat breakfast. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and it doesn’t have to be absolutely first thing, but you must have something. For the rest of the day, if you’re eating enough food and you are in ketosis then you shouldn’t be hungry between meals. But if you are hungry, eat something. (Hard boiled eggs make a great snack).

After the first two weeks of Bootcamp we will relax this, but these two weeks are critical in terms of helping you switch easily to a low carb way of eating - and if you start to feel hungry, it makes things much harder! Eating this way will ensure that your blood sugar levels are kept stable, which will mean that you are much less likely to experience hunger.

A typical high carbohydrate diet can mean that snacking is a routine part of your day. Once your blood sugar levels are stable, by eating low carb, you should find that you no longer want to snack. But the rule of thumb here is ‘if you are hungry, eat!’. (Just make sure you are only choosing low carb snacks, of course!)

2. Avoid processed foods.

Focus on pure, natural protein as the basis for your meals - meat/fish/eggs. Things like sausages, ham, bacon, pre-prepared burgers etc should be avoided as much as possible. You can have them, but just not every day. Avoid foods marketed as low carb, eg. Atkins Daybreak bars.

3. Eat lots of fat

Eating fat will not make you fat. Honestly! But it will keep your appetite satisfied, and it sustains your body’s energy requirements perfectly. Fat does not provoke an insulin spike, unlike carbs which do (a lot) and protein (a little). Fry in butter, add butter to vegetables, eat salad with a home-made vinaigrette dressing (not made with balsamic vinegar though, as this is too sweet), add mayonnaise where you can (just check the carb count on your mayo first). Eat fattier cuts of meat – e.g. pork belly, roast chicken with the skin on and/or eat the fat off your lamb chops. Absolutely no low fat/light foods of any kind!

4. Make sure you are eating vegetables and salads with your food

This is where your carbs should come from, and this is non-negotiable. But choose only those vegetables that are on the allowed list. Make sure that you focus on eating those vegetables that are 3g carb per 100g or less, and this will ensure that your carb counts are kept low. You don’t have to weigh/count carbs – this is one of the great joys of this WOE (way of eating), but if you’re new to low carbing it can be helpful to weigh your portions of veg in the early days, just so that you know how many carbs are in the sort of portions that you like to eat.

(The allowed list of veg is on the spreadsheet, which I'll post when we start - it's on one of the tabs at the bottom.)

5. Be careful about dairy (apart from butter, which is unlimited)

Dairy can impede weight loss for some people. If you are drinking tea/coffee with milk or cream, try to restrict yourself to max 2 cups per day. There are a lot of carbs in milk, so if you are having several cups of tea/coffee per day, you will quickly rack up your daily carb count (e.g. 1 medium latte contains more than 12g carbs!) You may eat cheese but again, don't overdo it. Full fat yoghurt is the best way to include dairy in your diet - but beware, it does contain carbs. Total Full Fat is the best

6. You must drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day

The more weight you have to lose, the more water you should drink. This is from Water is essential to weight loss for those who eat low-carb. The minimum consumed in a day should be:

Your Weight--------Litres

High levels of ketones in the blood stream can lead to a reduction in ketone production, therefore being well hydrated could aid in keeping the levels low and ketone production ongoing. Consuming enough water can have many other positive side effects: aids your kidneys with the processing of protein, reduces the retention of water, helps with preventing constipation, and reduces the levels of ketones released by your breath, which in-turn will reduce breath odour.

However, drinking a lot of water can mean that you also need to keep an eye on your electrolyte balance. You need to make sure that you are consuming sufficient sodium and potassium. On a low carb diet we can eat more salt, so make sure that you are cooking with salt and adding salt to food, if you like it. Good, low carb, sources of potassium are spinach (raw), avocado, mushrooms, courgettes and asparagus, as well as salmon and yoghurt.

7. No alcohol

Alcohol is the easiest source of fuel for the body to burn, so it will always use this first before it starts to burn any fat - which is why you need to restrict it, especially in the first two weeks of Bootcamp, when we are encouraging the body to stop using carbs for its source of fuel and turn to fat-burning instead. If you really can't do this - at least try and restrict it to the weekend. Vodka with soda is the best thing to drink. Or Champagne, red wine or dry white wine.

8. No fruit

Really. Seriously. Honestly. None at all. Zilch. Nada. After Bootcamp you will be able to introduce certain fruits, but at this stage fruit is simply too carby. We are also trying to break the addiction to sweet things, so cutting fruit out is part of this process. If you are getting all your carbs from vegetables and salad, you will be getting all the nutrients and fibre that you need.

9. No nuts/seeds

10. No sugar or artificial sweeteners

Sugar is an obvious ‘no no’, but artificial sweeteners are also an issue. One of the aims of this way of eating is to eat pure and natural foods, so including sweeteners is not recommended. Some people find that artificial sweeteners can impede their weight loss, and there is some suggestion that your body can respond to sweeteners as if they were sugar, by releasing more insulin - and therefore laying down fat.

Given that the aim of Bootcamp is to help us lose our sweet tooth and addiction to sweet things, then it is a good idea to avoid sweeteners altogether in this first two weeks.

BIWI Tue 31-Jan-17 18:52:23

One very important thing - if you're taking any kind of ongoing medication, please check with your GP if a low carb diet will be OK for you. This is particularly important if you're a diabetic, or you have high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. This is because low carbing is likely to reduce your blood sugar levels, your blood pressure and your cholesterol - which may mean that the dosage you've been prescribed is wrong.

BIWI Tue 31-Jan-17 18:56:52

Planning for success is important.

Get rid of any carby treats that you know might tempt you.

Don't buy pasta/bread/rice/potatoes etc - if you can, cook low carb meals for the whole family, so it will be easier for you to cook. There's no need to tell the family that you're doing this! For example, who would object to a meal of a salmon fillet, some roasted vegetables and some salad? Who would notice that there isn't a potato or some rice?!

One of the best things that you can do is to prepare and plan ahead. Low carbing isn't always easy, especially if you spend a lot of time on the go - look at all the food choices at any railway station or high street and just see how many of them are low carb. (Clue - almost none!)

So think about what your schedule is going to be, and make sure you have appropriate foods and snacks to hand.

It may mean that you have to do some cooking ahead, to make sure that there's something easy to hand. Fill your fridge with things like cheese, olives, celery/cucumber, pate, hard boiled eggs, cooked (low carb) sausages so that there are lovely things to eat.

It can be really helpful to keep a food diary, to record everything that you're eating and drinking. Then, if things don't seem to be working for you, you can look back and see if there's anything obvious that's going wrong. Similarly, when you've had a really good week, it's a great way to see how you achieved that, and so you can replicate it later on.

BIWI Tue 31-Jan-17 19:04:15


Each Monday I'll start a new chat thread, and the very lovely wombatoo will set up and manage the Spreadsheet of Fabulousness.

If you don't want to be on the spreadsheet that's absolutely fine - just let her know.

Equally, you may not want to enter your actual weight. That's also fine! An alternative approach is to index it. So your start weight is 100. Then for every pound you lose, you drop by one point.

It's entirely up to you how often you weigh. Here are some alternatives:

- weigh daily. Not great if you're an obsessive and have any tendencies towards disordered eating. However, for a lot of people it keeps them on the straight and narrow. But your body weight does fluctuate daily - this is quite natural. So even if you've been religiously following the rules, it's sometimes the case that your weight may go up during the week. If you can't handle this, then weekly weighing may be better for you

- weigh weekly. Generally something I'd recommend - for the reasons outlined above!

- taking an average weight for the week. Weigh daily, but then average the results, and take your average as the weight you put on the spreadsheet

- take your lowest daily reading. Weigh daily, and take the lowest reading you've seen as your weekly weight

Not weighing

For some people weighing can be too difficult, and may trigger other negative associations.

In this instance, consider taking your measurements. (This can be useful as well as weighing, as sometimes - and no idea why - your measurements may go down even if your weight stays the same).

Or, find an item of clothing that's too small. Not ridiculously so, just something that's a bit tight to fit into right now. And try this on once a week, so that you can see the progress that you're making.

wombattoo Thu 02-Feb-17 16:48:15

Thanks BIWI

Lucy7400 Fri 03-Feb-17 17:38:05

I am in. I will start on sunday though.

snowdonstreet Sat 04-Feb-17 12:10:03

Great info. Thank you flowers

snowdonstreet Sat 04-Feb-17 12:11:40

I know the hardest bit for me will be no sweet snacks, I have done a no carb type diet before and used to have Atkins bars etc which know are full of crap, or sugar fat free yogs..... I see I can't have these. Is there anything for a sweet hit or is it really time to go cold turkey?!

BIWI Sat 04-Feb-17 13:59:11

Sorry - but yes! The whole point of Bootcamp, especially the first two weeks (which are the hardest), is to break the hold that carbs and sweet things have over us. That's one of the reasons why artificial sweeteners are also forbidden.

And just one other thing - Bootcamp isn't no carb, it's low carb. You will be getting the majority of your carbs from vegetables and salad. Assuming there's any left in the shops

snowdonstreet Sat 04-Feb-17 16:54:18

sad sob....

BIWI Sat 04-Feb-17 18:02:25


Oh yes. And just wait til I start waving my Big Stick around ...

BursarsFrogs Sat 04-Feb-17 19:02:08

I've been eating away all the carby crap so I'll have a nice crap free house on Monday. As a result my glycogen stores will be well and truly stocked on Monday morning for weighing myself...

I've meal planned and shopped, and apparently I was the first person the shop person had ever sold a turnip to. smile

I struggle with my eating disorder still, so unsure how the bootcamp will affect me this time around. Last time I tried this I did really well for many weeks (until dropping out), so I'm hopeful.

BIWI Sat 04-Feb-17 19:03:59

If you have an ED, please be careful. shock

I know Bootcamp (especially the first two weeks) is very restrictive, and if this is going to trigger any problems, please be aware of that. I would hate for you to start to eat dysfunctionally, and threaten your health..

BursarsFrogs Sat 04-Feb-17 19:22:12

I will be mindful of it. I'm currently obese, and need to actually lose some weight to get my BMI under 30 to qualify for some medical stuff. If it wasn't for that I'd probably not try, and would just try to get on with my body and be healthy.

The best and healthiest (in both mental and physical sense) my eating has ever been has been on low carb, so it's easy for me to seek that, I guess. Last time when I started bootcamp I did very well for the first five week, and then dropped off as I could tell I was getting obsessive and starting to go down a less good path. If that happens again, I'll drop off again.

BIWI Sat 04-Feb-17 19:55:38

OK - I agree with you in general, that low carbing is probably the healthiest way to eat, as well as lose weight.

Can you identify what it was that made you get obsessive? Is there anything I can help you with?

BursarsFrogs Sat 04-Feb-17 21:16:48

I think it was the fact that I was keeping a food diary every day and very conscious of my weight, and thinking carefully of everything that I was eating. I was just trying so very hard to "be good" that I think it was generally triggering. I don't really know in advance how to try to avoid that while also trying to lose weight. confused

I'm in counselling with a great counsellor, and she will know I'll be giving this a go. smile

BIWI Sat 04-Feb-17 22:22:59

That sounds hard flowers

Hopefully your counsellor can help keep you both focused and balanced!

But also - please post on the thread and talk about how you're feeling as well as how you're doing. There's lots of support - and chances are, there may be someone who has similar experiences to you.

And if you want, or think it will help, please feel free to PM me too. I'm not expert at all, nor do I promise to be, but if I can support you in any way I'll try and help.

BursarsFrogs Sun 05-Feb-17 06:04:36

Thanks BIWI, I will do. I can't remember if I used this same name last time I tried bootcamp, but the chat was all great and you were supportive and helpful, too. smile flowers

StuntNun Sun 05-Feb-17 07:51:45

I recommend taking your measurements as well as weighing in. As BIWI said you can lose an inch from your waist or hips even though the scales don't change. There is a theory to account for this that fat cells can retain water when they lose some of their fat content. Water is more dense than fat so the fat cells become smaller but their weight doesn't change.

Snowdon if you're looking for something sweet then check out herbal teas. A lot of them are very low carb but still have a sweet taste that doesn't come from sugar. I like Camomile and Spiced Apple, Buttermint, and Licorice but there are loads of different varieties. Better still they count towards your water for the day.

Blubberfull Sun 05-Feb-17 08:05:03

I'm in - actually delurking for the first time. Hoping this will make a difference to how boot camp goes ...

BIWI Sun 05-Feb-17 10:25:46

Of course it will! You're accountable now! wink

And welcome

Krazykhick Sun 05-Feb-17 11:57:50

Hi, never done this before however need to lose near to a stone. Reasons are to feel better about myself, not get stressed when going out as often end up not going out. I'm in for boot camp, bring it on 😱😳

snowdonstreet Sun 05-Feb-17 12:19:20

Stuffs face with yummy sweet carbs in fear of BIWI stick yielding from tomorrow shock

cake cake cake

GrassWillBeGreener Sun 05-Feb-17 20:08:03

Christmas cake finished yesterday (I make 2 big ones that we all enjoy lol except now my family are voting in favour of another fruit cake at Easter - we'll have to see!).

I'd second the recommendation of licorice tea - only, I was thinking of asking whether it should or shouldn't count in the "sweeteners" category!

Do tomatoes belong in the "not in the first 2 weeks" category?

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